Posted in Pharma

Predicting success for new drugs using Social Media analysis

Social media can predict the success of a new drug launch much faster than traditional methods. Many pharmaceutical companies try to measure the success of their launch based on weekly script trends. The difference between social media data and data derived from prescriptions is significant: social media data can predict the future, while script data record the past.

Social media can also, to some degree, explain events and not just record them, since patient posts are much more nuanced than purchase data, often sharing the why and not just the what.

Using older methods, it can take years to understand the result and impact of a new drug launch. Today social media can provide early vital signals in real time.

To illustrate this, let’s look at Tecfidera (formerly called BG-12 during clinical trials), a new multiple sclerosis drug that Biogen launched on April 13 [through an examination of the patient voice from billions of patient-written social media posts on over 2,000 health blogs and forums].

Interestingly, since the launch of Tecfidera in mid-April, the most talked about MS drug in social media has been Tecfidera, bypassing all other MS medications and growing on a daily basis. We also see significant differences between Tecfidera discussions and that of other MS medications in that 36% of the Tecfidera discussions are on Facebook while for other MS medications only 28% of the discussions are taking place on Facebook (our analysis does not include Twitter).

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Posted in Pharma

The Future of Digital: What’s Next for Pharma Marketing


PM360 enlisted the help of digital experts from across the industry to learn what to expect from digital in 2013.

• What is the next big trend that everyone will be talking about this year?

• Is there a new social media site, mobile app, digital interface, or anything else that you think the industry should be excited about?

• What is the greatest unrealized potential of the digital channels currently out there that pharma needs to jump on right away?

• What have you learned from your previous digital experiences that will help you to improve your digital initiatives this year?

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Posted in #HCSM, Pharma

Unreported side effects of drugs found using Internet search data

Using data drawn from queries entered into Google, Microsoft and Yahoo search engines, scientists at Microsoft, Stanford and Columbia University have for the first time been able to detect evidence of unreported prescription drug side effects before they were found by the Food and Drug Administration’s warning system.

Using automated software tools to examine queries by six million Internet users taken from Web search logs in 2010, the researchers looked for searches relating to an antidepressant, paroxetine, and a cholesterol lowering drug, pravastatin. They were able to find evidence that the combination of the two drugs caused high blood sugar.

The study, which was reported in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association on Wednesday, is based on data-mining techniques similar to those employed by services like Google Flu Trends, which has been used to give early warning of the prevalence of the sickness to the public.

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Posted in #HCSM, Pharma

Patient-centered research in the Internet age

This article is about patient-centered research in the age of social media and digital technologies.

In a time when drug development success is becoming scarcer and more expensive, the industry is looking everywhere it can for new, innovative approaches to improving health. Increasingly we hear of the need for patient-centered research. In a highly regulated, process-oriented field such as clinical research, such changes, while essential, are highly disruptive and the outcomes are uncertain. What does patient-centered research mean? For an industry already beset with challenges, is it yet another complex burden, or can it provide a pathway to make the research process more targeted, smarter, and efficient?

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Posted in #HCSM, Pharma, Pinterest

How pharma is using Pinterest

The picture-driven social media tool Pinterest made Internet history by rocketing to 10 million subscribers in just under two years, and already surpasses YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn for referral traffic.

GE’s Cancer Pintherapy Board  is a good example of community engagement (while promoting GE’s brand as a “cancer fighter”.) The board features the experiences of participants in GE’s Breast Cancer Mosaic along with information from GE’s Is My Cancer Different website.   Alongside this the Pinterest board called Pinspire shares pins from cancer patients and survivors around the world. Users can pin for themselves or in honour of someone they know and features a new ‘cancer journey’ each week.

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Posted in #HCSM, Pharma

Why Health, Medical and Pharma Can No Longer Afford to Be Antisocial

See on Scoop.itHealth Care Social Media Monitor

For a long time, Health, Medical and Pharma have shied away from Social Media. Social Media has evolved to be ubiquitous in the world of successful business. And yet Pharma has tiptoed away from it, reasoning that it is too big of a liability to justify Social Media participation. It’s true that there are legal complications that can arise. The FDA has yet to release a formal set of guidelines regarding the use of social media and HIPAA compliance, in addition to other medical regulatory issues. Despite this, some pioneering medical companies have led the way forward with successful social media engagement. It’s definitely possible. It’s more than possible. It’s imperative.

Pharma and medical marketers need to adopt Social Media in order to survive. Companies that refuse to adopt social media assume a glaring red sticker identifying a looming expiration date. Brands must meet people where they are: online. “Social Media is a more effective way of reaching healthcare consumers because you are connecting with them while they are actively seeking you out,” advises Richard Morrow, the ParkerWhite branding agency’s digital director and user experience specialist. Morrow has worked with various B2B and B2C corporations to develop comprehensive online strategies. Brands must evolve to the new ways of communicating with consumers. Shouting from the recesses of traditional media won’t bring consumers back.

Obviously Medical and pharma companies will have to do their homework before taking the Social Media plunge. It wouldn’t be wise to jump in before learning the nuances of using social media for pharma from a legal perspective. But this isn’t rocket science. Medical marketers are already familiar with legal regulation for marketing – social media is just one more channel. Companies already have legal departments in place that are experts in mitigating risk. They just need to work with the right people who understand how social media works, in order to bridge the gap needed to apply known practices and knowledge to the social media channel.

The greatest risk in the gamble of social media for healthcare companies isn’t legal regulations. The overwhelming risk to healthcare social media is a complete absence of medical and pharma companies. Healthcare companies who don’t engage with patients and caregivers on social media will risk losing customers, tarnishing a brand image, eroding brand awareness, missing insights for product development, and failing to ignite potential brand advocates. At the end of the day, it’s business. You’ve got to communicate how you’re going to serve a customer’s needs to the right customers, at the right time, so that they choose to purchase your product or service. Communicating your product offering, connecting with the right customers, and making the conversion to a sale is the lifeblood of your business. With careful planning, you can utilize social media to achieve your business goals and avoid the pitfalls of an antisocial business.

Here’s why your company can’t afford to be antisocial:

1. The Conversations Are Happening Whether You Like It Or Not

2. This is 21stCentury PR

3. There is no risk management without social media

4. You Say Your High-Tech But It’s All Talk No Action

5. No One Ever Likes the Silent Treatment

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